Flipside Alpha Update #1

- by John Luxford

Our first big update to the Flipside Alpha is out! Alpha users will see the option to update on the Flipside Steam page and in the Oculus Home app (or if you have auto-updates enabled, you should automatically have the latest version).

Since this is a big update with lots of improvements, let's start with the highlights first:


Simplified and consolidated user interface

Based on your feedback, we made several changes to the user interface:

No more wrist menu

This felt too video game-like and also had accessibility issues for single-handed use.

As a result, the following user interface elements have been added:

The teleporter has been moved to your right hand joystick/thumbpad

This falls in line with many other VR apps and games, and should make it easier for users to pick up.

The camera and puppet tools have been moved to your waist

We created a utility belt (more like floating holsters) by your waist where you can always grab these common tools.

The main menu has been moved to the bottom of the palettes

The palettes have also been unified to act like a single menu system for the whole app.

Menus are now a more app-like colour scheme

This helps distinguish the Flipside user interface from show elements like props and sets.

Wrist watch stop button while recording

To stop you can either press the usual A/X on Oculus Rift or Application Menu on HTC Vive, but you'll also see a wrist watch appear on your left wrist while recording is underway that has a stop button on it. We decided to keep that bit of skeumorphism :)

Character improvements

Import your own custom characters!

We've released the first public release of the Flipside Creator Tools, which enable you to import your own custom characters from 3D models, complete with full-body movement, hand animations, facial expressions, lip syncing, and natural eye movement. Now you can be anything you can imagine in Flipside!

Height calibration

We've added a calibration button found on the underside of the Characters palette. This measures and stores your height, shoulder height, and arm span and uses these to provide more accurate motion capture.

Foot planting improvements

The first alpha release had a bug where your character's feet would lift too easily off the floor. The calibration as well as some other character changes have made big improvements to how the feet feel and connect with the floor.

Improved neck movement

Looking up, down and all around doesn't cause your character's body to move nearly as much, which helps convey body language that much better.

HTC Vive Tracker support

Flipside now supports both 2 and 3 Vive Tracker configurations, tracking either both feet or both feet and your waist. This opens up whole new possibilities for physical acting in Flipside.

Camera improvements

Handheld camera streaming fix

The handheld camera had a bug where it wasn't projecting to the 2D output, which made it impossible to capture handheld shots. Now whenever you grab the handheld camera from your side, it will become the active camera.

Non-selfie mode fix

The handheld camera defaults to facing outward. A bug had it defaulting to selfie mode, but this makes the camera way more useful for quickly capturing the right shots for your shows.

Steadicam smoothing effect

We've improved the handheld camera's steadicam smoothing effect, helping you capture more stable footage of your shows.

Other fixes

  • Adjusted the weight of all built-in props to feel more natural.
  • The puppet's inactive arm feels more natural.

We can't wait to hear your feedback on these changes and see what you guys make in Flipside!